Monday, November 4, 2013

Diving in Manokwari

Scuba divers often contact me whether they can see coral reef when visiting Manokwari. As a tour guide, I can confirm that the Dore bay of Manokwari and coastal areas in the south east and north coast of this regency has numerous dive spots that marine lovers can explore. Because it is located near the equator, the sea water in Manokwari is warm.

Manokwari is surrounded by hills and mountains. They were the place where Alfred Russel Wallace explored in 1858 in search of birds of paradise. He landed in Mansinam island and met three German missionaries. After that he continued his trip to land on the shore of Dorey bay.
During World War II, Japanese made Manokwari as their base. They were defeated by the US forces who bombed their ships that were inside the bay. Now divers visit Manokwari to see these shipwrecks.
I can arrange your diving trip in Manokwari from tranferring you from airport to hotel or resort, contacting dive guide and preparing dive equipment and boats.
Where is Manokwari?
  • Manokwari is the capital of West Papua province in the Republic of Indonesia. 
How to get there?
  • Fly from your country to Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia.
  • Fly from Jakarta to Manokwari by using a domestic airline. The airlines that fly to Manokwari are Lion Air, Sriwijaya Air and Express Air.
I can be your dive buddy but he has to be the guide when we have our dive tour under the water of Manokwari. My other friends such as Salomina Rumadas, and Henoch Maryen from Abasi Klub Surfing can also be your dive buddies.

For more information about diving in Manokwari, please, contact me: Charles Roring/ E-mail:

Monday, October 28, 2013

Preserving Marine Environment

American people are trying to restore the ecosystem of the Keys and Key West that was affected by human activities. As a popular tourist destination, the Keys are frequently visited by anglers, snorkelers, scuba divers and other water sports enthusiasts. Holiday makers from Florida and other US states can easily visit these islands by fast boats and airplanes. Most come to spend their weekends or long summer vacation. Shopping malls and shell shops provide goods that are related to tropical lifestyle. For nature lovers, birding, hiking and diving are some of activities that bring them closer to nature.
Efforts to protect the marine environment of the Keys and Key West by American people are also done by Indonesian people on many of their tropical islands.
Bali, Bunaken, Wakatobi and Raja Ampat are some of the most popular tourist destinations in Indonesia. Regular beach clean ups are carried out in places that are frequently visited by visitors. Raja Ampat as the "epi-center" of marine biodiversity receives more attention from the government and international NGOs because it continues to attract thousands of divers from all corners of the globe. The government and other stake holders in marine tourism want to develop the region for the prosperity of the local population but at the same time preserve its environment.
If properly implemented, tourism can bring positive benefits to the environment. For instance, visitors who enjoy diving, and snorkeling will be more appreciative to the coral reef. They can tell their friends and colleagues to stop throwing domestic and industrial wastes into the sea.
Regular patrols in Raja Ampat have significantly reduced harmful fishing practices that use explosive and poisonous materials. Some fishermen that use explosives had even been shot as a shock therapy to stop them from bombing fish again. Modern trawler vessels with huge net have caused rapid decline in fish stocks all over the world. Aquaculture could be an alternative answer to restore the dwindling fish stocks in the oceans.
Plastic wastes thrown by ship crews and citizens from the surrounding towns in West Papua and Maluku are still drifting to the region. More efforts are still needed by all parties in Indonesia to protect the marine environment in the country.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Dore bay of Manokwari - a nice place for snorkeling

The Dore bay of Manokwari has got plenty of sites that are suitable for anybody who wants to enjoy snorkeling. Most beach-goers go to Pasir Putih beach but the recommended sites for snorkeling are Abasi, Mansinam, Anggresi, Arfai, and Warmarway. You need a boat if they want to visit these places. Bring an underwater camera such as Canon Powershot G1X if you want to take some pictures of coral reef and ornamental fish that thrive in tropical waters. As a tour operator and guide, I can arrange both land and snorkeling tours in Manokwari.
Don't forget to bring your own snorkeling mask, fins and other gears that you will need for snorkeling in Dore bay.
Flights to Manokwari from such several cities as Denpasar, Jakarta and Surabaya, Makassar and Manado are provided by Sriwijaya, Lion/ Wings Air and Express Air. Check the website of each airlines to get the schedules and rates.
Your snorkeling trip can be expanded to land tour where you can go hiking through the tropical rainforest that covers the hills and mountains around Manokwari city. For further information about snorkeling in Manokwari, please, email me to:
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Saturday, August 24, 2013

Snorkeling in Manokwari bay

Manokwari city stretches along a big bay called Dore. It has got a lot of underwater areas where coral reef thrive. Tourists who are not scuba divers but love to see coral reef can enjoy snorkeling in several areas such as Warmarway, Abasi, Mansinam and Raimuti.
As a tourist guide, I often accompany visitors on various multi-sport activities in Manokwari. These include snorkeling, trekking and birding, caving and cycling. While enjoying snorkeling activities, tourists can see such fish as damselfish, anemone fish, lion fish, moorish idol, and surgeonfish that usually live in the coral reef.
Snorkeling and freediving tour with Charles Roring
Coral reef in Manokwari waters
The Dore bay is located at the south west region of the Pacific Ocean particularly in the area that is famously called as Coral Triangle. Together with Raja Ampat, Cendrawasih Bay and Triton bay, Manokwari is a place where a lot of species of coral reef thrive in its clear blue sea water.
Freediving Photograph from Manokwari
To go snorkeling in Manokwari, visitors need to be accompanied by experienced snorkeling guides who know the current, tides and wave patterns in the bay. Visitors have to bring their own snorkeling masks, fins. For remote areas in the bay that have got coral reef with better condition, a speed boat would be needed to reach them. I can arrange the boat, snorkeling guide and interesting itineraries for visitors who want to see the beauty of the underwater world of West Papua.
Table Corals in the bay of Manokwari

For taking pictures, Canon Powershot G1X with waterhousing is a device that I recommend. After taking photographs of reef fish, I can help identify the fish using Reef Fish Identification Book for Tropical Pacific.
How to go to Manokwari?

  • Fly from your country to Jakarta (the capital of Indonesia)
  • Take a domestic flight to Manokwari city. Airlines such as Garuda, Sriwijaya, Batik Air provide regular flights.
  • I could meet you at the airport and organize your snorkeling, hiking and wildlife watching in this regency.

For further information about snorkeling in Manokwari, please, contact me by e-mail to: I will be happy to answer your email and arrange a trip that is interesting and affordable for you. by Charles Roring/ E-mail:

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tank Top Decorated with Yellow Hibiscus

I used pen tool of the Adobe Photoshop to select the yellow hibiscus flower that I shot while visiting Mansinam island. At that time, I was with David Scott, a guest from England. We enjoyed snorkeling at the beach. I was standing in the water when I shot this tropical flower. The surface level reached my thighs This beach hibiscus is suitable for tank-top or t-shirt printing.

To make it look more 3 dimensional, I added a butterfly on its left side. The brown color of the insect looks contrast on pale yellow petals of the flower. The design is also suitable for iPhone case or mug prints. I will try to create more products from this picture. I dedicated this tank to any woman who loves nature.

Friday, July 12, 2013

Butterfly for Tank Top

I cut a butterfly out of a photograph yesterday and uploaded into the image folder of my Zazzle account. Then I placed it on a gray tank-top. At first I wanted to put it as a small picture on the top left side where the pocket is usually placed but later I re-positioned the picture in to the middle of the t-shirt.
The brown butterfly lives in the jungle of Manokwari particularly in the lowland forest that grows near the Pami river. I shot it using my Nikon Coolpix P500 and used the pen tool of Adobe Photoshop to create a cut out picture of the insect that I saved in PNG format. Why png instead of jpg? Well, png is a file format that allows the creation of transparent area around or inside a picture.  I already have got some vector illustrations that I uploaded into Zazzle to create t-shirts and other interesting articles that are manufactured by the online retail company. I also uploaded some of them into my personal account in Facebook.
I deliberately used Facebook to assess whether my friends like the image or not. I admit that I still need more time to master vector drawing software such as the ancient but still powerful Macromedia Freehand MX or the Adobe Illustrator. I will try to upload more vector artworks into Zazzle. Please, check them on the top right navigation bar to check them out. I hope that you will like them and will be interested in ordering some t-shirts or iPhone cases.
When people buy my artworks in the form of t-shirts, they will wear them. It means they have indirectly promote the butterfly to anybody whom they pass by along the streets that they walk. I really hope that we will give more attention to the preservation of the environment particularly the natural habitat of the butterfly.

Monday, July 8, 2013

Quill Pen and Paperless Society

Long before we use stylus to write emails or notes on the screen of our smartphones and iPad, people used quill pen to write. A quill pen was made from the feather of a swan or goose or other large birds. I created the drawing below using Macromedia Freehand MX. I saved the digital artwork in png file format to maintain the transparency of the drawing when placed on any printed medium such as T-shirts, mug or cell phone case. I tried to upload the vector illustration several times to my zazzle account but I failed. So, I closed my Google Chrome browser and then reopened it again. This time I was able to upload the digital illustration.

Back to the story of the quill pen, according to Wikipedia, vast majority of medieval documents, such as the Magna Charta, and the Declaration of Independence were written on paper using quill pens. Today we don't see this writing tool on the shelves of office supplies stores anymore. Now I write most of my articles by pressing the buttons of keys of my laptop. I also do the same when using my cell phone to send text messages.
We live in digital world where writing and sending messages to many different parts of the globes is as simple as pressing (virtual) buttons on the screen of our Samsung Galaxy smartphones and iPad. Users of tablet PC use stylus to create a "hand writing" files.  The same messages needed several months or even years to travel from Asia to Europe in the medieval era.
The use of electronic devices in writing and sending documents via the internet has significantly reduce the amount of paper that we use every day. Paperless society is good for the environment but we cannot eliminate the use of paper completely during this modern time. Who knows that one hundred years from now, people will not use paper anymore.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Illustration for T-Shirt Design

Today I created another digital drawing using Macromedia Freehand MX. The following image is a group of Convict Surgeonfish (Acanthurus triostegus). These fish usually move and feed in large groups in tropical waters that have coral reef.
I saw these fish when I was snorkeling at Abasi beach. My friend used Canon Powershot G1X to shoot them. The camera is a powerful photographic device to capture underwater subjects.  There are a lot of other fishes that I saw at that time including various damselfish, and striped surgeonfish.
I offer snorkeling and birdwatching trips to people who come to Manokwari as tourists. Traveling is my job and also may way to make photographs that I need as inspirations to created artworks. If you are interested in hiring me as digital illustrator for your projects, please, do not hesitate to contact me by e-mail to

Thursday, June 27, 2013

2-Eye Butterfly

After trying to master Freehand MX in the last few weeks, finally I can create my 2-eye butterfly that I trace using the powerful pen tool of the software. Although Adobe has not updated this vector software since 2004, the Freehand MX is still powerful in helping artists create beautiful artworks.
People still need clip art when they want to write messages or emails to their friends that are beautifully decorated with drawings.
I plan to sell my vector artworks in T-shirt printing company when I have reached an advanced level in using the software. Today Adobe Illustrator and Coral Draw are considered as the most modern digital drawing tool but as long as the Freehand MX is still running on my laptop, I will still use it. Because most of my artworks will be saved or exported in png format, I don't think I will face any difficulties in delivering them to the T-shirt or digital printing company that is interested in selling them.
I also try to learn Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop for my other digital art projects. I will upload them in this blog too. Vector art can be resized easily without loosing the accuracy of the lines and fill of the drawings. Most of my illustrations are based on things that I see in my surroundings when I walk in the jungle or swimming over coral reef.  This two eye butterfly usually live in the lowland forest of New Guinea island. I saw it when I was trekking in the north coast of Manokwari. I takes around 3 days to draw it and I hope that all of you like the artwork. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Digital Illustration of a Butterfly

I like art. I have created a lot of sketches and paintings in the last five years and now I am thinking of learning digital illustration. So, I installed Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Macromedia Freehand MX in my computer. Although Freehand MX is considered as dead. I like it very much. Yes, in 2013, I install Macromedia Freehand MX in my laptop. It is fast and very easy.
Well, I will not talk about the software in this post. A few minutes ago, I have just finished drawing a butterfly using Adobe Photoshop CS3. Because I am still in a beginning level, my artwork is not perfect yet. I will try to spend more time reading tutorials of the above software that are abundantly available on the internet to master the software.
The some of colors that I apply on this illustration are similar to the original colors of the butterfly in its natural habitat. Unfortunately, when I export it into GIF format, the middle body of the insect disappeared. It means, I have to improve my drawing or tracing skills when using Photoshop. There are still a lot of features of the software that I don't know. It takes time to master them but I believe that I can do that. Hope to create better artworks next time. by Charles Roring/ Email:

Monday, May 20, 2013

Design of New Guesthouse in Arfak range

by Charles Roring
Last week I finished the design of a guesthouse for tourists who want to go trekking in Arfak range. I drew it using Google Sketchup 8. I got the software before it was bought by Trimble. It took around one week to make the basic drawings of the house. Most parts of the house will be built using wood that is abundant in the region. Only the door handles, roof and windows that are from manufactured goods. The house will be constructed around 1 meters above the ground. Local builders will do most of the construction works. After finishing the design works, I am now trying to raise some money to help local people build it.
The followings are the design of the guesthouse as seen from several directions:

Traveling in the jungle of West Papua is not the same as traveling in the tropical Caribbean islands. To reach the place where birds of paradise dance in the morning and in the afternoons, visitors need to walk up steep slopes for nearly one hour. Spending one or two nights in the jungle of Warmarway exploring the rainforest with its rich eco-system will only be interesting for nature lovers. The guesthouse that I design will become a comfortable accommodation for anybody who is planning to go trekking in the forest of Arfak range. If you are interested in donating your money for this project or visiting Arfak range, please, contact me by email to 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Boys and their Canoes

Numfor is an island in the southern region of Pacific Ocean. It is between Biak island and Manokwari regency (in the mainland of New Guinea). I went there several times with foreign visitors who wanted to go there to enjoy snorkeling, and birdwatching. These visitors came from the Netherlands and Czech Republic. While I was in Numfor, I saw that most of the villages were located along the coastal areas. The children liked to paddle their boats to the sea where they could catch fish or just swim in the warm tropical waters.
It was sunset and the boys were returning from the sea. They rowed two outrigger canoes. In Indonesian language these small boats are called perahu. They spend most of their times at sea.
Numfor is a beautiful island that is surrounded by coral reef. The tropical rainforest that covers the island is also the natural habitat of various kingfishers, Blyth's hornbill, sulphur crested cockatoos and birds that like to eat fish. Birdwatchers should consider this island as their birding destination. by Charles Roring

Friday, May 10, 2013

White objects sketching

To improve his or her sketching skills, an artist must perform life drawing exercises regularly. I also do the same. Last night I gathered some white things that I found in the kitchen and put them on the cover of Canon Pixma - my desktop printer. Then I took my A4 size sketchbook and Maries C7300-6 charcoal pencil to draw them. I feel that doing still life drawing is more challenging than drawing from photograph. An artist needs to create an imaginary boundaries for the subjects that he wants to "move" onto a paper. This can easily be done using a view finder but I don't use it. I prefer to set the boundaries using my own eyes and fingers. 
The first appliance that I drew was a Philips incandescent lamp.  Then I drew an emergency lamp behind it. The Philips water heater that I sketched on the top right was added as the third last object on the paper. There were some sentences around the heater symbol but I didn't draw them. The letters were too small for my charcoal pencil that had been blunt already.
In addition to drawing with charcoal and graphite pencils, I also like watercolor painting. However, the accuracy of pencils and the spontaneity of watercolor are the media that I most prefer. So, I use Derwent watercolor pencils to drawing and paint human figures, landscapes and animals for my artworks. I plan to showcase my works in this year so that viewers who are interested in the artworks can order them from the website.

A Mother and Her Children in Arfak range

Arfak range is located in the south of Manokwari city. I often visit the mountains while guiding tourists. Most of them go there to watch birds of paradise, or do some trekking in the jungle. I still arrange trips for foreign visitors to the mountains every month.

The villagers who live in the mountains work as farmers. They work hard to make money. The agricultural produce that they harvest from their farmland is sold in the market of Manokwari. Mothers are the ones who work hard. They work in their vegetable patches, and also sell them  in the market. They also have to raise their children. Every family on the average has got 2 to 3 children.
Because the cost of transportation from Manokwari city to Arfak range is very expensive, the profit which the mothers get from selling their sweet potatoes, carrots, cabbage and passion fruits is just enough to buy some clothes, rice, instant noodles, salt and a few school supplies.
The above picture is a charcoal drawing of a mother and her two children from Arfak range. I made the drawing based on a photograph. I can do life drawing to with a model sitting or lying on a couch or mattress in front of me in certain reclined position.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Hibiscus flower in watercolor

The following picture is my latest watercolor sketch of hibiscus flower (Hibiscus rosa-sinensis). I saw it in the north coast of Manokwari when I was guiding Georgie a student from the United Kingdom. She came to West Papua to see its plants and flowers and stayed here for two weeks. She went hiking and camping in the jungle with me as well as snorkeling over coral reef of Mansinam island. She was very interested in tropical rainforest, flowers and art. I used Derwent watercolour pencils to make this little painting.

For me, painting in watercolour pencils is much easier than oil color due to its simplicity. I usually begin with a sketch that I make using a 2B staedtler. Then I apply light stroke of colors over the sketch to see how it will look like before fully painting it with watercolour. When I feel that I can confidently "wash it" with wet brush, I will begin coloring the background area of the artwork. Sometimes I have to wait for a few hours until the paper dries again before applying another color over the previous ones. Watercolor is a great painting media. You should try it if you are thinking of taking up painting as your pastime activity.
I uploaded this hibiscus flower painting into website so that anybody can have it in the T-shirt or any products.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Charcoal Sketch of Dolphins

I frequently see dolphins when I go to Abasi or Bakaro beach. Cape Bakaro is one of the best surfing spot in Manokwari city. I accompanied Matt Fox this morning to make some pictures and videos of him surfing in the area. He was surfing with a local Papuan surfer for around 4 hours. Matt works as a project manager for West Papua office of Conservation International Indonesia. At around 10.30 a.m. I saw a group of dolphins approaching the waters of Cape Bakaro.

Surfers often see dolphins surfing in the big waves. They attracted my attention. I stopped making pictures of the surfer and began aiming my friend's camera to the dolphins. Unfortunately, they were too far. The Cannon Powershot G1X that I used was not powerful enough to magnify the picture of the dolphins. Back at home, I decided to make a little study about dolphins. Here is the picture of two dolphins jumping out of the water. Dolphin is still considered as the best wave surfer. No human can match this animal at a big swell.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Charcoal drawing of a palm and a moth

One day I was guiding a Dutch girl named Aafke in Arfak mountains. She was a researcher who wanted to know whether an eco-tourism project in West Papua could improve the standards of living of the indigenous people and at the same time preserve the environment. She interviewed a lot of people from the villagers in Arfak range to the tourists who had visited the area. On the last day before leaving the mountains, she picked up an insect that had already been dead on the ground.It was a small moth. Its colors were orange brown with white dots on its wings. Aafke put it on her palm. I turned on my camera and aimed it at her palm and the moth. I took two beautiful photographs of this interesting subject.
Aafke's palm and a moth
The above image is the drawing that I based on one of the photographs. I made this sketch using woodless charcoal stick that I bought in Ubud town last year. I drew this sketch on the half part of the A4 size sketchbook. The other upper half area of the paper has been filled with the sketch of striped surgeon fish.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Charcoal drawing of Striped Surgeonfish

While snorkeling in the waters of Abasi beach near Manokwari city, I saw various species of reef fish. One of them was Striped Surgeonfish (Acanthurus lineatus). My friend, Henoch, took some underwater pictures using Canon Powershot G1X. It is a powerful digital camera that can capture subjects in low light condition. Using one of his photographs, I created a sketch of the fish. I drew it with a Woodless Charcoal Xpression 8803 Medium. I have been sketching several artworks using this drawing material.
Charcoal gives strong black lines for the sketch of the fish that I made on my drawing book. Sometimes we don't need to present the whole color of a fish. Lines drawing is good for designs that can be used for T-shirt or calendar prints. I hope that I can make more drawings with this robust tool. by Charles Roring

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Plastic Wastes Pose Real Threat to Marine Environment

Last week I went snorkeling at Pasir Putih beach of Manokwari city. I wore a pair of snorkeling mask that I had used for around two years. Pasir Putih means white sand. The beach has been the most favorite recreational area in this city for years. Unfortunately, the beach goers who frequently visit the beach on weekends do not pay attention to the cleanliness of the environment. While I was snorkeling around the waters of the beach I could see a lot of plastic bags, and bottles at the bottom of the sea. A lot of fish die after eating that wastes. They sank into the sea after being filled with sand and water. I used to see a program in NHK about an industrial exhibition in Thailand. Some manufacturers presented bio-degradable plastic products that are made from plant fiber such as cassava. I hope that more manufacturers will increase the use of this material to protect our environment.
At the depth of around 5 meters, I saw two anemones, one was empty whereas the other was occupied by two clown fish. I like the fish and descended to them trying to see them in closer distance. The bigger fish, perhaps the male one, chased me trying to show that it is his territory. I did not bring underwater camera at the time so I cannot show you how beautiful these fish were.
The following photograph was not from the Pasir Putih beach but Raimuti island. The coral reef in Raimuti is still in good condition because it is located outside the city. Today the land area on the mainland near the island is undergoing rapid development. It will cause damage to the coral reef if the wastes in the area are not properly handled.
The wastes that are thrown by the citizens of Manokwari in the streets will flow into the sea during rainy days. The situation is getting worse with the increasing number of cargo and passenger ships that make Manokwari as their port of calls. The dumping of wastes into the sea has to be stopped at the very moment to prevent more destruction to marine environment in Dorey bay of Manokwari that support the livelihood of most of the fishermen who live in the coastal areas of the city. With proper social campaigns and dialogues on mass media, I believe that we can ask the city dwellers of Manokwari to stop the marine pollution.
If we do not act right now, it will be too light to save the reef five or ten years from now. by Charles Roring

Big Data Analysis of Japanese Earthquake

Big data from disaster zones in Japan during March 11, 2011 earthquake is now being analyzed by Japanese experts. This big data was generated by cell phone calls, twitter and facebook messages, and GPS way-points of cars in congested roads. It is saved in cyberspace. It could have been used by rescuers to help large number of people stranded in collapsed buildings or congested roads. When the east coast of Japan was hit by giant tsunami, the rescue operations were carried out without using big data as reference. Rescuers from Japanese Self-Defense Forces, Fire Fighting Agencies and groups of ordinary civilians relied on visual information and phone calls and text messages, or reports of other survivors. If they also used big data presented in 3 dimensional map presentations, they could have saved more people.
Three Dimensional Representation of Big Data in Disaster Hit Area
People in the cities and towns that were effected by the earthquake immediately used their cell phones or other communication devices to seek helps or contact their loved ones. Cars with GPS tracking systems moving or facing traffic congestion in streets provided valuable information that could have been used by rescue teams minutes before tsunami reached urban areas. NHK World TV just aired a documentary entitled: Disaster Big Data: Saving Lives Through Information. It shows how the three dimensional presentation of big data such as the one shown in this article could be used by rescuers to save more people.
All governments must learn from the Japanese in utilizing big data as a way to develop rescue operation procedures if their countries are hit by natural disasters particularly in urban areas where most city dwellers have got cell phones, iPads, or GPS tracking devices. The potential of saving more lives is high if a good computer software can be developed to visualize the big data in 3 dimensional map presentation like the one in this post. The intense vertical red lines are indicators of high concentration of population stranded in the effected areas and they were the ones that should be prioritized during the rescue operations.
Big data has been used by several multinational companies to analyze market trends and develop products and services that are needed by their customers. The use of big data in mitigating natural disasters would be a great contribution of modern technology and brilliant breakthroughs that can save more lives. by Charles Roring

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Marine Tourism in Manokwari city

I have written a lot of articles about coral reef preservation and marine tourism in Dorey bay of Manokwari. These articles are posted in this blog and my blog to help visitors get information about this regency before coming to Manokwari. My main objective of the promotion of eco-tourism is to help the indigenous Papuan people to preserve their environment and at the same time generate some income from the natural resources that they have.

Visitors can enjoy swimming, sunbathing, snorkeling, wave surfing and fishing in Manokwari. I have arranged tours and guided a lot of visitors during their trips in Manokwari. Many of them went to Arfak range to watch paradise birds, or see orchids and rhododendron flowers. Those who like snorkeling have a lot of spots to explore. I have some snorkeling masks that I can lend but I highly advice that tourists bring their own snorkeling gears.
All tourists who enjoy snorkeling or wave surfing in Manokwari will be served by local Papuan people that I try to empower. They are important part of this ecotourism program because they will be the ones who preserve the coral reef from such irresponsible fishing practices as fishing bombing, and poisoning.
Manokwari is a beautiful coastal city in the bird's head (vogelkop) region of New Guinea. It is now the capital of West Papua province of the Republic of Indonesia. Flights between Jakarta and Manokwari are available every day.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Pink Anemone Fish in Dorey bay of Manokwari

Dorey bay, located in the bird's head region of Western New Guinea, was the place that Alfred Russel Wallace- a British naturalist visited in 1858. He met three German missionaries in Mansinam island. At the time he collected some birds of paradise, and insects. Today, the land that is rich in plants and animals is facing a lot of destruction due to the rapid growth of human population and irresponsible exploitation of the natural resources. This afternoon, a group of Papuan youth went snorkeling in Dorey bay of Manokwari to assess the condition of its coral reef and marine environment. They brought an underwater camera Canon Powershot G1X to take pictures of the corals and the ornamental fish that live in the waters around Raimuti island. They took pictures of corals, and fish. One of them was Pink Anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion). We can identify this fish by its unique physical appearance. It has got narrow white head bar, and white dorsal stripe from between the eyes to tail. This anemone-fish belongs to the family of damselfish.  
Pink Anemone Fish near Raimuti island of Manokwari
The coral reef around the waters of the island is still in good condition but rapid construction works along the coastline of Arfai and on the nearby Arfai hill may raise the amount of silt that will flow into the sea during rainy season. The following underwater photograph shows two pink anemone fish that live in the reef. The efforts of the Papuan youth from Abasi Surfing Club to record a lot of underwater pictures from the bay are intended to raise awareness among city dwellers of Manokwari about the importance of coral reef preservation in the area. We hope that city dwellers will stop dumping wastes into the sea after seeing the pictures.
Dorey bay of Manokwari is still an interesting place for tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving. 

The Empowerment of Local Community Through Ecotourism

I have been working as a tour operator since 2010. I don't run a big travel company. I prefer to work side by side with the indigenous Papuan people on the development and promotion of their natural resources as tourist destinations. The destinations include coastal areas along Abasi beach and Cape Bakaro as well as mountainous villages such as Syioubri, Kwau, Warmarway, Senopi and Asai. New Guinea is the largest tropical island in the world. Its forest and coral reef are home to great number of plants and animals. Half of the island, the Western New Guinea, is under the administration of Indonesia. There are two provinces in Western New Guinea, i.e. Papua and West Papua.
Some American tourists and Papuan people in the jungle of Arfak range
My eco-tourism program is a community based one. Local people will be the ones who own the guesthouses, guide the tourists and carry the bags that belong to the tourists while trekking in the jungle. This scheme will make the indigenous people give more value to their natural resources that have become the target of local, national and multinational companies. Huge areas of tropical rainforest in Western New Guinea have been converted to palm oil and cacao plantation. Significant percentage of the land have been deforested and changed into farmlands where migrants from other islands of Indonesia are invited to open rice fields, vegetable and fruit gardens.
When a group of 5 tourists go trekking in Arfak mountains, they will spend between 500 to 1,000 US dollars. This money is given directly by the visitors to the local villagers who take turn surfing the tourists. Children will gather firewood whereas mothers work as cooks. Youths will be the porters who help the visitors carry their bags and photographic equipment.
When villagers get money from this tour, they know that they have to preserve their environment if they want to get more guests. Pristine forest and coral reef absorb CO2 gases that are emitted by all of us around the globe. This simple community based ecotourism program greatly helps us in preserving our environment.

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Snorkeling over the Coral Reef of Abasi beach

Coral reef in the waters of Abasi beach is still in good condition and is the natural habitat of various species of tropical fish. As a swimming, snorkeling and surfing destination, Abasi beach is often visited by city dwellers especially during holidays. To protect the marine environment, I and the youth in Abasi village try to make a documentation about what exists under the surface of the sea. We have done this since three days ago using a new underwater camera Canon Powershot G1X. With this camera, we are able to take a lot of pictures of anything that we can see in the water. I ask one of the youths to handle the task of taking pictures. His name is Henoch Marien. He is a fast learner. With little explanation from me on how to use the camera, he can make high quality underwater photographs.

I wore a pair of TUSA snorkeling mask. Its color is yellow with soft strap used to attach the mask on my eyes. TUSA is a Japanese company that manufactures various sporting goods particularly for snorkelers and scuba divers, including dive watches, scooter, lights, boots, and buoyancy control jacket. I like the mask because it is small and fit onto my face. Snorkeling is simpler than scuba diving. Anyone can enjoy snorkeling. We can provide lifejackets for tourists who want to enjoy snorkeling but cannot swim. 
Tourists who are interested in snorkeling or scuba diving in Abasi beach should bring their own gears. There are no diving center at Abasi beach at the moment. We hope that we will be able to open one in the future.  
Where is Abasi beach and How to get there?
It is not difficult to come here. Just fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of the Republic of Indonesia. Then, take a domestic flight to Manokwari city. Abasi beach is a 30-minute ride from the airport. Before you come to Manokwari, please contact us by email to 

Friday, March 29, 2013

Snorkeling Pictures from Abasi beach of Manokwari

by Charles Roring
Yesterday I tried using Canon G1X at Abasi beach of Manokwari. I went snorkeling with some native Papuans. We were at sea at around 5.30 p.m. and the light condition was not really good. So, the quality of the photographs was low. Today is Good Friday. The Christians are commemorating the crucifixion of Jesus Christ on the cross in Jerusalem. It is a national holiday in Indonesia.

So this afternoon, I took the opportunity to go snorkeling at Abasi beach again. I went there at around 01.30 p.m. trying to shoot reef fish and corals with Canon Powershot G1X. I took some pictures of the reefs several times but there were a lot of children swimming closer to me. The fish were afraid of us. They went away from us. After around half an hour in the water, I saw my friend was coming. His name was Henoch Marien, a native Papuan from Abasi village who was also a wave surfer. I gave him a short explanation on how to use the camera that was covered with WP-DC 44 an underwater housing for the camera.

Henoch asked the children to go away from him so that he could take pictures alone. It was good for Henoch to take pictures alone because the fish were not afraid anymore. I also maintain a good distance with him. A few hours later, I told him that I had to return to the beach. Slowly, we swam to the left. On the right of us was the surfing sites whose waves are big.
Arriving at the beach, I immediately asked Henoch to turn the camera on. I wanted to see pictures that he made with the new camera. The result was really fantastic. Canon Powershot G1X is really a very good camera for underwater photography. While writing this post, I open Reef Fish Identification book. With the book, I could identify some fish that appear in the photographs. Some of them are Butterflyfish, Damselfish, Striped Surgeon fish (Acanthurus lineatus) and Convict surgeonfish (Acanthurus triostegus).
These photographs are made to promote Abasi beach in Manokwari city of West Papua as a destination for visitors who understand alternative or responsible tourism. We want to develop a tourism program that brings maximum benefits to the local people and the environment.
I have been promoting Manokwari as a tourist destination since several years ago. Tourists who come to Manokwari can enjoy snorkeling, diving, trekking, birdwatching, caving, and wave surfing. I work with native Papuans trying to empower them as the main stakeholder in an eco-tourism scheme that will bring improvements in the standards of living of local people and in the preservation of nature. I hope that you like the above photographs and consider this city as your next destination. Before flying to Manokwari city, please, contact us by email to
We will provide information, arrange your trip and accomodation and give a guiding service while you are here. If you are a wave surfer and wants more information about surfing at Abasi beach, please, visit this blog

Snorkeling in Abasi beach of Manokwari

by Charles Roring
Abasi beach is located just a 20-minute ride from Manokwari city. It is a nice place for various marine sports activities. People who like surfing can ride their boards there. But it also has got a long coral reef belt that is home to various species of fish and reefs. Two days ago, I received a package from Jakarta. There were two boxes in the package. One was a Canon G1X digital camera and the other was a WP-DC44 waterproof case. The next day (which was yesterday), I visited to Abasi beach to test the camera. I went snorkeling with three native boys.
It was around 5 p.m. when we went to the sea. I slipped my hand into the strap of the waterproof case so that it would not drift away. Then we swam over an underwater hill which was 3 meter below the sea surface. The hill was covered with various corals. I asked one of the boys to go down first and then I took a picture of him using the new Canon G1X camera. I took some more pictures of the reefs and the boys who looked happy to be taken their pictures of when staying underwater without any diving gear.
The quality of the photographs was very good even in low light condition. When I and the boys went snorkeling, the weather was cloudy. I recommend this camera to anybody who is thinking of buying a camera for underwater photography.
To go to Abasi, you need to fly from your country to Jakarta. Then, you need to take a domestic flight (served by such airlines as Express Air, Lion Air and Sriwijaya Air) to Manokwari city. We can meet you at the airport, arrange your accommodation in a guesthouse or beach hotel and provide guiding assistance in Manokwari. If you are interested in surfing, fishing or snorkeling at Abasi beach, please, contact Salo at her email: I am sure she will be glad to bring you there.

Friday, March 22, 2013

Snorkeling over the coral reef of Manokwari

by Charles Roring
I often receive questions from people who read my blogs whether they can do snorkeling in Manokwari. I know that actually I have written a lot of articles about this topic in this blog but perhaps they are buried under hundreds of other articles that discuss ship, cars, rainforest or renewable energy. To give a quick answer, I say yes. Most of the coastal areas of Dorey bay,  the islands of Mansinam, Lemon, and Raimuti have got coral reef. Near the city, the reef have suffered from run off sediments and trash that flow into the sea during rainy season. Places whose coral reefs are still in pristine condition can be seen along the coast of Maruni to Warkapi, Oransbari and Ransiki. Unfortunately, they are quite far from the city.
From my recent snorkeling trip, I can say that the waters around Abasi are still good for snorkeling. The nearby Cape Bakaro is a world class surfing spot. Anybody who wants to see the beauty of the underwater world of Manokwari can go there. The presence of foreign tourists in the area will attract the attention of local Papuan villagers about the importance of preserving coral reef for their livelihood. Healthy reef is able to provide fish for the islanders. It is also a good asset for ecotourism.
Strong winds blow to the north coast of Manokwari between late Nov, December, January, Feb, March, and early April, this is the best time for surfing. Wave surfers from every corner of the globe can come to Manokwari during this time. Tourists who are not surfers can still swim and see the coral reef, damsel fish, butterfly fish, inside the bay of Manokwari whose waters are relatively calm. If you plan to travel to Manokwari to go birding or enjoy snorkeling or mountain biking, please, contact me by email to I will be happy to provide information, and guide you around this city.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Surfing at Cape Bakaro of Manokwari

by Charles Roring/ E-mail:
Very few international surfers know about the existence of Cape Bakaro. After I wrote an article about Victor Dykman's (a Dutch tourist) surfing trip in Manokwari city a few years ago, I got an email from a member of Surf Explore team. He said that he would explore beaches in West Papua that is suitable for wave surfing. In my reply email, I told him there are several places that are suitable for surfing. Some of them are Abasi, and Cape Bakaro. We still had some telephone conversations before I got a confirmation that they would come to Indonesia. They arrived in this city in late February 2013. Spending around 2 weeks in Manokwari, they surfed at the beaches of Abasi, Cape Bakaro, Tanjung Pepaya and some places that are far from the downtown. When I asked them the recommended spot for experienced wave surfers, all of them answered Cape Bakaro. The following photograph shows how an international surfer, Hayato Maki, enjoyed surfing at the cape.

Phil Goodrich - a surfing artist at Abasi beach of Manokwari
It is not difficult to reach Manokwari. If you are a surfer and wants to ride the waves of Cape Bakaro, just fly from your country to Jakarta - the capital of the Republic of Indonesia. Then take a domestic flight to Manokwari city. The airlines that fly between Jakarta and Manokwari are Sriwijaya, Express Air, and Lion Air. Bring your own surfboards and don't forget to contact me before you come.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Roma Islands in South West Maluku Regency

The beautiful Roma archipelago in South West Maluku Regency is a potential tourist destination in Indonesia. On Nelles Tourist Map of Papua and Maluku, the archipelago is called Romang Islands located in the west of Wetar island and in the north of the adjacent Kisar island and Timor island. The islanders prefer to use the word Roma than Romang for the archipelago. Roma archipelago can be reached by airplane from Bali to Kupang and then to Kisar. After that visitors need to use speed boat from Kisar to Jerusu village. It takes around 3 hours to go by the speed boat. The seascape of Roma islands is fantastic. Travelers can see small tropical islands surrounded by white sandy beaches. As there are not hotels in the main island of Roma, visitors can stay at the houses of the local people. Another route that can be used to travel to Roma islands is from Ambon city. Here budget travelers can go by Perintis Boat operated by PELNI liner. If travelers want to reach the the archipelago in faster way, they can go by Merpati airline to Kisar and then by boat to Jerusu village.

Nus Eden (Sand Island) - Photo by Chey Sahureka
Tropical rainforest of Romang  island a great place for birding and trekking

The 7 islets around the main island of Roma are empty. These islets are Nusmeten, Nusyata, Maupuora, Musang, Pasir, Nyamuk (Mosquito), Timbul. No body lives there. Here, travelers can build camps to stay for a few days. Renting the boats from local fishermen, visitors can enjoy snorkeling, birdwatching and sight seeing around this tropical islands.
Jerusu Village in the main island of Roma archipelago
Photo by Chey Sahureka
Romang Islands in the west of Wetar and north of Kisar
in Nelles Tourist Map
Most of the islanders work as fishermen and farmers. They live in 7 villages: Jerusu (the main village), Kour, Atuna, Akwalu, Rumkuda, Hwai and Dalka. There are around 1,000 inhabitants in Roma archipelago. The main agricultural/ plantation commodities of Roma islands are corn, clove, copra, and nutmeg. For fishermen, their fish catch is sold to their own villagers and the market in the Kisar island. Sea shells are sold to Chinese merchants in the Roma island who will export them to Surabaya city. The beautiful tropical islands of Roma is a perfect place for nature lovers. Here coral reef with thousands of ornamental fish can be explored under the magical turquoise water. 
Mace an important export commodity of the islanders of Roma

White sandy beach in the tropical archipelago of Roma
If you are interested in visiting the Romang archipelago, please, make sure that you have a valid visa for traveling in Indonesia. Bring extra batteries for your cameras, and if possible water casing for your camera. The water casing is needed when you go snorkeling and taking underwater pictures of the fish, sea star, coral reef and a lot of colorful marine creatures. If you still need more information about Roma islands, please, contact Richard by phone: +6282260019911 or by email to